I hated my parents. I hated them because I loved them. And because I loved them I felt like the most worthless thing in the world when I disappointed them. So I hated them for making me feel bad. Yes. I hated them. Or did I hate myself for not being good enough for them?. I don’t know. Someone was the subject of my hate, and that’s all that matters.
My parents sat across from me on the little flower-pattern couch behind the tea table with old dried roses my mom bought herself for saint valentine’s day; both of them holding hands and with a concerned look on their faces. It was the saddest thing too because looking at them like I was gave the impression that I was a threat to their perfect unity, an alien. I wasn’t looking at them though, I was looking outside the window, the rain was pouring and it looked like there could easily be a hurricane building up in the skies, or wherever it is hurricanes are formed, I haven’t really looked very much into it. But however it is they formed I wouldn’t have minded too bad if one just came down and took us into the stratosphere. The trees were bent into leaning in a sort of surrealist way, Dali would’ve liked the sight. It was a sort of “pathetic fallacy”. It really was. I heard that term thrown around a lot at my school. It’s phony as hell, and very snobbish, but I just couldn’t get it out of my mind, and now I said it involuntarily and made me really pissed at myself.
I had been silent for about 3 minutes now, the rain was a fascinating sight to tell you the truth. And the knot on my throat wasn’t helping either. I looked at them and they looked the same way as they did 3 minutes ago, like concern had frozen them into place. I opened my mouth but nothing came out. I closed it and tried again.
“Remember that time…” I choked, I was shaking so bad, and the words came in an unintelligible tangle. The rain kept calling me; I couldn’t look at my parents. I was captured by the sky falling in drop form.
“Remember that time we had this talk about… about the internet history?” oh god. I regretted every word as soon as they came out. I am not a very good improviser, Even though I had gone over this a million times in my head.
When I was twelve and discovering the marvels of my body along with the marvels of the internet I had had a few experiences with adult content and self-pleasure. Given the internet was a novelty I didn’t think much of taking care of the traces, or the fact my dad could easily go on the history and find everything his son was looking at. Which he did. The next day at noon he called me into the main bedroom and my mom was sitting kind of sobbing on her side of the bed. What proceeded was the most awkward this-is-just-a-phase, you-shouldn’t-be-doing-this, you’re-just-a-kid talk I have ever had in my life. Never had I been so ashamed in my life, never until now.
My mom just looked confused and shook her head; my dad sort of pursed his lips and frowned. He knew where this was going, and my mom probably did too, but I guess they were clinging to the last little hopes that I would just pop a champagne-popper and tell them I was just messing around. And then we could all have a laugh like a normal, well-functioning family. I was shaking like an ancient washing machine now.
“well, I thought about telling you sooner but was afraid of what you’d say” I paused, and they didn’t move a muscle, they were not going to help me make this easier.
“I have thought so much of killing myself over this, but I realize I wouldn’t be able to do it, I’m too much of a coward for it.” That got them, they immediately leaned forward and started mumbling like mental people. Nothing intelligent, really. Just mumbling.
“So I got the number of the city’s homeless foundation, and am ready to leave if you want me to.” This was it. The shaking had gotten so bad I had to grab my elbows to keep my arms from flapping around. “The thing is. I am…”. God, That word. That monosyllable word, so hard to force out. So much that will change.
Could I even turn it around now? What could I say that would make this go back to normal? A thief?. A teenage prostitute?. A drug addict? A baby daddy? Would that be better? … Probably.
“I am gay” I finally said in a tremble-y whisper. The rain was not alluring anymore. I was now staring at the immensely more amusing floor. I had never noticed for instance how there was a red wine stain on it. I had never seen any of my parents drink before. I should ask them about it in a future conversation. If we ever had one again.
I was crying now, tears falling on the stain, making the spots on which they fell slightly darker than the rest. My parents were not producing a sound. I wouldn’t even know they were still there if I couldn’t see the tip of their feet on my peripheral camp. I felt ridiculous standing in front of them, like I was lecturing them and I was the parent and they were the kids. Like all perfect plans, my fantastic coming out plan went to shit. This is not what I wanted; I didn’t want to be this ball of useless shaking convulsions.
“why?” I heard my mom ask. That killed me. Out of all the questions that she could’ve asked, I was not expecting this one.
“why? I don’t know why.” I heard her move in the sofa. And then I felt her hugging me. And then I broke down. More so. If that was possible. it was.
She dragged me to the sofa and sat me down between herself and my dad. I just curled in a ball. I felt my dad shaking. Was he crying?. I had never seen my dad cry. He was not a crier. Not because it was for sissies. But because he was a man.
“did my brother do something to you? Oh my god, did he touch you?” my uncle on my mother’s side is gay too. And she isn’t too fond of him, because he has a problem with gambling and lost my grandma’s house on a bet. He spent a lot time in our house because his work was near. I felt offended. Suddenly the sadness, or some of it anyway, became anger.
“no, what?. No, he has never, no one has, it’s nobody’s fault but mine.” I don’t know why I said fault. It’s not like a did something bad and puff, i was a flaming sodomite. But I said it anyway. I felt like I needed to apologise.
“well, I just want you to know, that we love you, and that we will go through everything like a family” and then she half-hugged me and stood up to go to the kitchen.
My dad sat there with me. Not saying a word.
“You know, most parents would be disappointed their son was gay. I ain’t, I am so damn proud of you. I am not crying because you ashame me. I am crying because I feel I have failed at being your father. Failed at being there for you. No son of mine should ever consider killing himself.”
He was sobbing badly too. His words came out in that hiccup fashion that comes out of compulsive crying. And then he hugged me. A real bear hug. Never had I ever, nor have I ever since. Gotten a hug so felt. So real. And then the tears. All of them. Wetting my dad’s shirt. And the rain was falling, and the wind was blowing. But now the sky wasn’t falling anymore. and maybe I didn’t really hate my parents or myself.
I had always liked rainy days the best.
© Copyright 2016 DanHazle. All rights reserved.
Book / Gay and Lesbian
Essay / Travel
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